FIGHTING ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IMAGERY
In an historical announcement today, Wednesday 1 June 2016, St Helena launches a dedicated Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Reporting Portal, to allow web users to report images and videos of child sexual abuse safely and anonymously.
The launch comes as part of an IWF initiative made possible by funding from the FCO Cyber Security Capacity Building Programme. It will provide a quick and easy way for citizens to report online images and videos of child sexual abuse, to a safe and anonymous hotline.
The Reporting Portal can be accessed at www.report.iwf.org.uk/sh
A planned roll-out of the IWF Reporting Portal is happening simultaneously today in 12 UK Overseas Territories. These include:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Ascension Island
- British Virgin Islands (BVI)
- Cayman Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- St Helena
- Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos
IWF CEO, Susie Hargreaves, says:
“It’s great that St Helena has joined this ground-breaking initiative, to provide a first class Reporting Portal to protect its citizens. Child sexual abuse imagery is a global problem and we can only fight it with a truly global solution.”
What is the IWF Reporting Portal?
By working closely with internet companies, the IWF helps people who stumble across online child sexual abuse images and videos [sometimes known as child pornography] to report it anonymously, via a web-based reporting Hotline.
A team of experienced IWF analysts then work directly with the internet industry and law enforcement, to have any abusive imagery removed quickly.
Any reports of suspected online child sexual abuse imagery generated in St Helena will be assessed directly by one of IWF’s analysts, respected globally for their experience.
Today, the IWF Hotline provides one of the most successful reporting mechanisms in the world. When they were founded 20 years ago, 18% of the world’s online child sexual abuse imagery was hosted in the UK. Thanks to their analysts, that figure is now 0.2%.
The IWF’s Technical Projects Officer, Harriet Lester, working with SURE South Atlantic Ltd on St Helena says:
“The launch of the Reporting Portal in St Helena is a step toward our mission to remove child abuse images and video [sometimes known as child pornography] from the internet completely.
“The response from people here has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re looking forward to helping them make their corner of the internet a safer place.”
Watch this short video which explains what the IWF Reporting Portal is and how it works.
The IWF in St Helena
The IWF has worked closely with The Safeguarding Children Board and SURE South Atlantic Ltd on St Helena.
UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge, says:
“This demonstrates the Overseas Territories’ commitment to protecting children from harm and builds on the excellent work of the Internet Watch Foundation, who remove child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world. I am delighted that the FCO, through our Cyber Security Capacity Building programme, has been able to support this.”
Acting Chairperson of the Safeguarding Children Board on St Helena, Paul McGinnety, said:
“I am delighted that St Helena, with the support of SURE, has joined the Internet Watch Foundation. This will give the community a confidential way to report online images of child sexual abuse. St Helena has a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse and we will continue to work with all of our partners to protect all children and young people across the globe.”
CE of SURE South Atlantic Ltd on St Helena, Hensil O’Bey, added:
“The IWF initiative was brought to our attention by former Director of Education, Colin Moore. SURE are pleased to have worked with SHG and the IWF on the implementation of this very important initiative for St Helena.”
Online child sexual abuse images and videos are a very real problem across the globe. The IWF brings together governments, law enforcement agencies, the online industry and civil society to do what’s needed to eliminate images of child sexual abuse from the Internet.
In 2015 the IWF positively identified 68, 092 reports of child sexual abuse images or videos, which it helped to remove from the internet. From that figure, 69% of the victims were assessed as ten years old or under. 1788 victims were assessed as two or under. Just over one third were category A – the rape or sexual torture of children.
Removing these abusive images from the internet makes it a safer place for all.
Notes for Editors
IWF make the internet a safer place. They help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. They search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. They then have them removed. IWF is a not for profit organisation and is supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.
For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk
1 June 2016